Leon Aman wrote:
That is true for a beginner giriasis.
I do practice 4x a week for a period of 5 years, I tried to practice to every visiting shihan (I regret I missed the seminar of yamada shihan)in the country whether from aikikai or from different organization. I love to practice and to learn different variations from them. I've learned a lot from them but I do not claim I know everything about techniques but at least I am aware what is the best variation I can rely on. I'm just a student eager to learn more about this art.
I'm with Shaun, here, Leon. That it's more than true for beginners. 5 years in my dojo puts you at the point where you reach the point to quoting myself, "develop our foundation and basics of aikido." In two to three more years you'd reach shodan and then the exploration of finding your own truly begins. I really feel blessed to have trained with people like Peter and Penny Bernath (in addition to many senior and high ranking students who teach and train in my dojo.) Sticking to the same instructor for the past 6 years really has given me a solid groundwork to build upon. So, just now, I'm able to begin exploring other alternatives because I feel that by sticking to what he has taught me for the past 6 years that I have a good enough foundation whereby I will be able to grasp the differences without losing the confidence I have in my aikido.
Of course this doesn't mean we shouldn't be exposed to other sensei or styles. I think it's good to be exposed, but when I train my sensei's advice trumps everyone else's. If something else I've been exposed to works within what he teaches me then I'll keep it and if it doesn't I put that on a back burner to play with later on in my training.